Veterans in Business: Laurie Sayles

Raised in low-income housing in Chicago in the ’60s, Laurie Sayles knew she had to earn her own way. Hustle and determination kicked in as soon as she could babysit, earning enough money to buy candy at the corner store and take the bus downtown to buy her family’s Christmas presents.

In high school, Sayles worked at a modeling agency, as both a receptionist and model. But at age 21, she looked in the mirror and “didn’t like the person I was becoming,” she says. She enlisted with the Marines that year, longing for purpose, discipline and leadership. She left seven years later, determined to use the grit of the Marines to land a job in the corporate world. It was 1989 and, as Sayles puts it, “no one cared if you were a vet.”

From receptionist to executive assistant, Sayles kept her eyes and mind open, soaking in the corporate culture, anticipating needs of the CEOs and presidents she assisted. Through it all, she had side gigs going, running Semper Fi Fitness and other…

Read the full story from the Washington Business Journal.

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